No Middle Ground in Afghanistan
Glad to see those who supported the Surge into Iraq, now advocating a similar winning strategy for Afghanistan. Everyone once said the struggle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda there was the crucial fight in the War on Terror, but many are now calling for withdrawal. From the Wall Street Journal here are Senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman, and John McCain who declare Only Decisive Force Can Prevail in Afghanistan:
We went to war there because the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of the safe haven given to al Qaeda in that country under the Taliban. We remain at war because a resurgent Taliban, still allied with al Qaeda, is trying to restore its brutal regime and re-establish that country as a terrorist safe haven.
It remains a clear, vital national interest of the United States to prevent this from happening. Yet an increasing number of commentators, including some of the very same individuals who opposed the surge in Iraq and called for withdrawal there, now declare Afghanistan essentially unwinnable. Had their view prevailed with respect to Iraq in 2006 and 2007, the consequences of our failure there would have been catastrophic.
The Senators go on to say we have all the tools in place for victory. We now need the will to prevail:
Our mistakes are infuriating, but they are also reversible. We traveled to Afghanistan nine months ago and again last month. In the intervening time, a significant shift in our strategic leadership and focus has taken place there.
We have an exceptional new commander on the ground, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has begun a top-to-bottom overhaul of all aspects of our war policy and put forward a dramatically new civil-military strategy that clearly identifies failed policies and prioritizes the proven principles of counterinsurgency, including protecting civilians, creating legitimate and effective governance, and boosting economic development. With Gen. McChrystal, together with a new ambassador and a new deputy commander, we believe we now have the team on the ground that can win this war.
Some often point to history, how the Afghan has broke many Empires, from Russia to Britain. Still if we don’t give it all we’ve got, one last mighty effort as General Petraeus did in Iraq, we only have ourselves to blame, not history!